University of Leicester - Faculty of Mass Communication New Media and Society - Distance Learning Assignment 5 Dissertation proposal

I “like” politics. Political communication through facebook in Greece

Word count: 4181

Eleftheria Dekavalla P.O. Box 109749 - Abu Dhabi - UAE Student ID Number: 099023227 eleftheria.dekavalla@gmail.com +971 50 672 4487 Tutor: Emily Keightley


 
 Introduction 2
 This
proposal
addresses
the
question
whether
the
use
of
social
media
in
Greece
 improves
the
political
communication
and
the
democratic
dialogue
among
 citizens
and
between
citizens
and
politicians.
on
the
way
the
citizens
make
use
 of
this
new
possibility
for
participation
and
on
the
reasons
why
the
politicians
 engage
in
this
kind
of
communication
channels
to
reach
their
public. have a website.
interactivity
and
exchange
of
any
kind
of
 information.wikipedia. the sample of the politicians will not necessarily belong to these parties and will not necessarily be represented in facebook. .2010). center-right oriented party

 3
Only two of the elected parties have an official facebook profile site.).
twitter.org/wiki/Facebook.
generally
by
means
of
the
Internet“
 (http://en. Social
media
are
„Interactive
forms
of
media
that
allow
users
to
interact
with
and
 publish
to
each
other.
blogs
etc.wiktionary.

 























































 1 Facebook is a social networking website that was launched in 2004 as a website for the students of Harvard College.
delicious).
 photosharing
(flickr).000 active users (http://en. accessed on 12.
A
survey
 research
in
form
of
questionnaires
addressed
to
two
groups
will
be
used:
the
 first
group
will
consist
of
facebook
„fans“
registered
in
the
facebook
profiles
of
 the
political
parties
and
the
second
group
will
consist
of
members
of
the
Greek
 parliament3.
The
corresponding
study
will
focus
 on
the
nature
of
the
political
dialogue
that
takes
place
in
the
facebook1 profile
 sites
of
the
two
major
Greek
political
parties2.
wikis.9.
and
serve
as
 platforms
for
communication.
LinkdIn
etc.org/wiki/social_media).
They
include
social
networking
 (facebook. 
 2
Pasok (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and Nea Dimokratia (New Democracy). however. Gradually it allowed access to other universities and colleges in the USA and in September 2006 to every person older than 13 years.
social
bookmarking
(Digg. All of the elected parties. In July 2010 facebook had 500.
videosharing
(youtube). Although the sample of the citizens is going to be selected among the fans of the two parties-facebook sites.


It
is
thus
worthwhile
to
investigate
their
role
as
 political
communication
channels
in
order
to
determine
whether
their
potential
 is
used
effectively
or
not.
sociology.
However
it
is
 not
as
widespread
as
in
the
western
European
countries
or
in
America.
p.
drawing
on
concepts
from
communication.
Kaid
regards
political
communication
research
as
 “an
interdisciplinary
field
of
study. The
use
of
social
media
in
the
Greek
society
is
increasing
rapidly.2010)
 .
and
other
 fields”
(Kaid
2004.
The
European
rate
was
45%.gr/page/default.
 
 3
 I
believe
that
these
features
make
them
to
a
very
interesting
area
for
 communication
research
generally
and
for
political
communication
research
 particularly.asp?la=2&id=2126&pk=5
(accessed
on
12.
psychology.
journalism.4%
of
the
Greek
households
had
Internet
access.
since
they
have
theoretically
the
potential
to
contribute
to
an
 effective
political
dialogue.observatory.4 On
the
other
hand.
 political
science. Literature review and contextualizing the topic within existing knowledge and consideration of the relevant theoretical perspectives The
proposed
study
can
be
contextualised
in
the
field
of
mass
communication
 and
political
communication
research.
history.9.
rhetoric.
since
a
 great
part
of
the
population
still
has
no
Internet
access.
the
 use
of
the
Internet
by
the
Greek
politicians
for
their
electoral
campaign
and
for
 the
communication
with
their
voters
is
quite
new
and
has
not
been
studied
 enough
yet. Having
these
in
mind
I
believe
that
the
study
of
this
research
topic
 has
the
potential
to
contribute
to
further
knowledge
about
the
social
media
and
 the
political
dialogue
in
the
Greek
society.
xiii).
The
boarders
between
these
two
 disciplines
are
often
blurred.
eEurope2005‐i2010:
Report
 on
the
research
findings
among
individuals
‐
households
 http://www.
In
the
field
of
mass
communication
research
many
 























































 4
In
2006
27.


 Representative
examples.
the
classical
study
of
Lazarsfeld
and
his
colleagues.
 Since
the
questions
of
the
study
focus
on
how
and
why
people
use
the
media
(in
 the
particular
study
how
and
why
citizens
and
politicians
use
the
social
media
 for
political
discussions).
which
combine
the
research
on
a
particular
set
of
mass
 media
(social
media)
and
a
certain
type
of
mass
communication
(political
 communication).
p.
p.
p.
based
on
the
studies
of
 political
election
campaigns
by
Lasarsfeld
and
his
colleagues.
p.
Newbold
2005.
in
my
opinion.
about
the
voting
behaviour
of
 the
people
in
presidential
elections
in
the
USA.
are
Lippmann’s
“Public
Opinion”
 (1992).
9).
p.
257).
media
effects
 research.
McCombs
and
 Show
conducted
a
survey
among
undecided
voters
in
North
Carolina
and
 resulted
that
the
issues
emphasized
by
the
media
come
over
time
to
be
regarded
 as
important
by
the
audience
(Agenda
setting
theory)
(ibid.

 .
in
1972.
And
a
decade
later.
articulated
the
 theory
of
limited
effects
of
the
media.
70.
 Thus
the
placement
of
my
proposed
study
within
the
fields
of
mass
 communication
and
political
communication
research
is
justified
by
the
 questions
of
the
study.
 
 4
 studies
have
been
performed
on
issues
of
political
communication.
“The
 peoples
choice”
(Kaid.
and
because
the
proposed
method
of
answering
these
 questions
is
the
survey
analysis
(a
quantitative
research
method).
the
study
 belongs.
In
1960
Klapper.
to
the
broad
tradition
of
empirical.
17).
among
others.
70).
published
in
the
1940s
and
 Laswells
quantitative
analysis
on
the
formation
of
public
opinion
through
 governmental
propaganda
(Kaid.
a
study
about
media
and
the
formation
of
public
opinion
in
a
democracy
 (Newbold
2005.


 where
theories
like
agenda
setting
belong.
 where
the
effect
of
media
is
seen
in
the
construction
of
meanings.
Both
traditions
underwent
changes
 and
revisions
through
the
second
half
of
the
twentieth
century.
to
the
minimal
effects
model
 (ibid
p.
to
the
“return
to
the
concept
of
powerful
mass
media”
(ibid
p.
with
the
media
 effects
tradition
moving
from
the
conception
of
all‐powerful
media
based
on
 behaviouristic
concepts
(McQuail
2005
p.
459).
I
regard
 empirical
research
a
useful
companion
to
qualitative
methods.
458).
p.
 
 5
 Curran
et
all
distinguish
between
the
liberal
tradition
in
mass
communication
 research
which
pays
more
attention
to
empirical
investigation
and
the
Marxist
 tradition
that
regarded
the
media
as
ideological
agencies
that
maintained
class
 domination.
The
Marxist
tradition
rejected
the
empirical
tradition
as
 “atheoretical”
(Curran
2005.

 Within
the
frame
of
the
empirical
tradition
in
mass
communication
research
I
 will
approach
the
topic
of
the
proposed
study
based
on
a
combination
of
the
 approaches
mentioned
in
the
two
latter
stages.
461).
460).
The
 significant
shift
of
this
latter
stage
is
the
move
away
from
quantitative
to
 quantitative
research
methods
(ibid
p.
but
the
receiver
can
reconstruct
their
messages
 according
to
personal
structures
of
meanings.
 .
and
to
negotiated
media
influence.
p.
meaning
on
the
assumption
that
 the
media
do
have
effects.
106).
The
Marxist
tradition.
on
the
other
 hand.
As
far
as
the
methodology.
abandoned
gradually
its
totally
rejecting
attitude
towards
empirical
 tradition
and
showed
“increasing
interest…
in
empirical
survey‐based
research
 into
audience
adaption
of
media‐relayed
ideologies”
(Curran
2005.
104‐105).
that
can
be
 reconstructed
by
the
audience
according
to
personal
meaning
structures.


should
be
based
on
rational
 argumentation.
in
order
to
be
deliberative.

 Habermas’s
theory
was
criticized
for
idealizing
the
model
of
white.
as
the
proletarian
one
and
 for
ignoring
women
as
public
actors.
for
ignoring
other
public
spheres.
should
not
be
monopolized
by
any
particular
individuals
and
 should
be
related
to
public
affairs
(Hagemann
2002.
In
the
proposed
 study
I
will
try
to
find
out
if
the
political
communication
through
the
facebook
 sites
of
the
Greek
major
political
parties
has
the
characteristics
that
constitute
 the
concept
of
deliberative
democracy
and
if
this
new
art
of
political
 communication
through
social
media
contributes
to
the
formation
of
a
new
kind
 of
online
public
sphere.
In
this
 sense
the
media
can
only
distort
the
communication
(Scannell
1995.
Key
characteristics
of
the
public
sphere
according
to
Habermas
are
 equality
of
all
the
citizens.
We
can
find
a
concise
presentation
 .
 Prior
researches
about
the
Internet
and
its
contribution
to
the
creation
of
public
 sphere
have
brought
mostly
negative
results.
male.
 
 6
 
Going
another
step
further
I
intend
to
take
the
concepts
of
public
sphere
and
 deliberative
democracy
articulated
by
Jürgen
Habermas
as
basis
for
my
 approach.
 The
political
debate.
p.
6).
p.
autonomy
and
freedom
from
state
and
market
 interference
and
from
the
interests
of
individual
citizens
(McKenna
1995.
18).
p.
participatory
democracy
 tended
to
undervalue
representative
democracy
and
indicated
that
only
face‐to‐ face
political
debate
could
offer
the
ground
for
rational
argumentation.
I
believe
that
Habermas’s
key
concepts
can
be
used
as
a
 normative
frame
for
defining
the
level
of
democratic
debate.
middle‐ class
opinion
public.

 In
spite
of
the
criticism.
61).
His
ideal
of
direct.
freedom
of
the
citizens
to
engage
in
dialogue
and
 express
their
opinion.


154).
p.
 On
the
contrary.
 
 7
 of
some
important
studies
on
the
topic
in
Peter
Dahlgren
(Dahlgren
2005.
Lisa
Tsaliki
(2002).
Anthony
Fung’s
 study
on
an
online
forum
in
Hong
Kong
indicated
constrained
possibilities
of
free
 participation
(ibid.
Although
this
 method
is
very
important
to
draw
conclusions
about
media
messages.
Fung
2002).
Hagemann′s
(2002)
content
 analysis
of
the
discussion
lists
of
two
Dutch
political
parties
provided
little
 evidence
of
deliberative
characteristics
(ibid.
the
Netherlands
and
the
UK
could
identify
several
elements
of
 deliberative
debate
like
high
interaction.
The
respective
 studies
used
mainly
content
analysis
to
approach
their
topics.
Tsaliki
2002).
what
they
expect
from
them
and
 if
the
participation
in
online
political
discussions
gives
them
the
motivation
to
 participate
actively
in
the
political
life
of
their
country.
Wilhelm
2000).
it
cannot
 say
much
about
the
effects
of
these
messages
on
the
audience
(Wimmer
et
al.
in
my
opinion.

 Wilhelm
(2000)
resulted
that
online
discussions
often
lack
of
rationality
and
 tolerance
of
others
opinions
(ibid.
p
156).
diversity
of
participation
and
diversity
 of
views
(ibid.
It
would
be
important
to
investigate
how
people
think
about
the
 use
of
social
media
in
political
communication.
 that
the
topic
of
Internet
and
democracy
needs
further
investigation.
 2006.
Hagemann
2002).
Another
interesting
 question
would
be.
why
the
politicians
use
the
social
media
and
if
the
opinions
of
 the
citizens
affect
their
future
decisions. .
in
her
study
of
three
public
political
forums
 in
Greece.
 
The
opposing
findings
of
the
above‐mentioned
studies
indicate.
with
 various
population
groups
and
different
analysis
concepts.


1988.


 























































 5
The first age group is unlikely to be represented in the Greek parliament.
p.
 Random
sampling
would
contain
the
risk
of
overrepresentation
or
 underrepresentation
of
these
features.
sex
or
age.
both
men
and
women
and
all
the
“normal
 mass
media
age
spans
of
18‐24.
since
two
kinds
of
populations
are
going
to
be
 measured.
because
it
can
indicate
 relations
between
use
of
social
media
and
political
orientation.
 sex
and
age
group
according
to
the
percentage
of
these
characteristics
in
the
 entire
population
of
the
members
of
the
parliament.
perhaps
the
majority
of
the
politicians
 would
be
men
or
members
of
a
certain
political
party.
Two
different
questionnaires
will
be
sent
to
two
different
 groups:
members
of
the
Greek
parliament
and
fans
in
the
facebook
profile
sites
 of
the
two
major
Greek
political
parties.
 101)5.
2006.
2006.
I
prefer
the
method
of
quota
 sampling
to
the
random
sampling
of
the
politicians.
 .g.

 A
sample
of
100
parliament
members
out
of
300
will
be
selected
with
the
 method
of
quota
sampling.
p.
241).
The
size
of
the
quota
will
depend
on
political
party.
The
disadvantage
of
the
method
is
that
not
every
member
of
the
 parliament
has
the
same
chance
to
be
selected
(Wimmer
et
al.
25‐34.
 
 Methodology 8
 To
answer
the
questions
of
the
proposed
study
I
intend
to
use
the
method
of
 survey
research.
Another
reason
is
the
time
 constraints
of
this
study.
p.
since
it
is
 1/3
of
the
entire
population
(members
of
the
parliament)
and
it
will
include
 members
of
all
the
elected
parties.
The
size
of
the
sample
seems
representative
to
me.
e.
92‐93)
 and
that
the
researcher
could
be
biased
by
the
selection
of
the
subjects
(Hansen
 et
al.
34‐44
and
45‐54”
(Wimmer
et
al.
The
quite
size
of
the
sample
would
reduce
the
risk
of
underrepresentation
 through
lack
of
responding.


The
email
addresses
of
 the
politicians
are
listed
in
the
website
of
the
Greek
parliament.
the
method
of
quota
sampling
seems
 also
appropriate
to
me.
due
to
its
large
size
(about
8.
 
 9
 For
the
selection
of
the
citizens’
sample.
The
same
 percentage
will
be
selected
from
each
party.
behaviours
and
 .
After
defining
the
 number
of
members
of
each
party
in
this
particular
day
(which
is
going
to
be
 selected
randomly).
 The
questionnaires
will
be
sent
to
the
groups
via
email.
These
demographic
data
can
be
obtained
through
the
 questionnaires.
profession.
since
new
members
enter
the
sites
every
day.


 The
reason
I
propose
survey
research
as
the
most
appropriate
method
for
my
 study
is
that
I
am
mainly
interested
in
investigating
attitudes.
 education.
Quota
sampling
allows
the
selection
of
 the
subjects
according
to
the
number
of
fans
each
party‐site
has.
Random
sampling
among
the
entire
population
of
the
 fans
would
be
enormously
time
consuming.000
 users
registered
in
both
facebook
sites).
I
will
calculate
the
percentage
of
fans
of
each
party
in
 comparison
to
the
whole
population
of
the
fans
(of
the
2
parties
only).
To
do
this
I
will
have
to
define
a
certain
date
for
obtaining
 these
data.
age.
The
fans
will
be
contacted
through
messages
in
their
facebook
 accounts.
The
lack
of
demographic
statistics
of
the
fans
does
not
allow
me
to
 define
the
quota
more
precisely
and
to
include
variables
of
sex.
etc.
in
order
a
sample
of
400
persons
to
 be
completed.
For
the
case
that
 some
selected
politicians
do
not
have
an
email
address.
a
telephone
interview
 will
be
arranged.
The
 recommended
procedure
is
the
following:
first
I
will
have
to
define
the
entire
 population
of
the
above‐mentioned
fans
by
downloading
the
fan
lists
from
the
 profiles
of
the
parties.


On
the
other
hand.
 
 10
 expectations
of
the
audience
(politicians
and
social
media
users).
p.
the
researcher
can
never
 be
sure.
p.
 The
nature
of
the
questionnaires
itself
requires
great
deal
of
objectivity
and
 caution
from
the
researcher.
if
 the
interviewee
does
not
understand
a
question.
 As
far
as
the
use
of
Internet
survey
(here
via
email)
The
advantage
of
this
 method
is
that
it
is
cheap.
 apart
from
artificial
labour
conditions.
419‐424).
a
large
amount
of
data
can
be
collected
in
 reasonable
costs
and
a
variety
of
people
can
be
easily
contacted
without
 particular
geographic
constraints.
 The
disadvantage
is
that
the
researcher
can
never
be
sure
whether
the
selected
 person
or
somebody
else
will
answer
the
questions
(ibid.
not
predicted
by
the
 researcher.
since
in
real
situations
many
intervening
variables.
 2006.
could
be
involved.
178).
if
the
relationship
of
the
dependent
and
independent
variables
is
causal
 or
not.
178‐179).
In
 addition
to
that.
Furthermore.
the
lack
of
personal
contact
(that
exists
through
face‐to‐face
or
 telephone
interviews)
does
not
allow
for
explanations
through
the
researcher.

 Through
survey
research
problems
can
be
investigated
in
a
realistic
context.
196).
p.
a
problem
that
exists
also
in
 conventional
mail
surveys
(ibid.
fast
and
one
can
reach
a
lot
of
people
with
little
effort.
I
am
interested
 in
describing
the
actual
situation
of
political
dialogue
within
facebook
sites.
The
questions
have
to
be
articulated
in
a
way
that
 they
do
not
reflect
the
personal
opinions
of
the
researcher
and
they
do
not
 .
technical
restrictions
or
 unwillingness
for
participation
could
affect
the
research
procedure
(Wimmer
et
 al.
206.
so
 my
study
is
going
to
be
mainly
descriptive
and
not
analytical
(Wimmer
et
al.
p.


(1988.
 taking
in
account
that
politicians
usually
have
limited
time.
p.
182‐189.
 .
On
the
other
hand.
Such
 cases
can
affect
the
results
enormously.
with
the
risk
that
in
the
end
 the
people
answer
the
questions
randomly
without
reading
them
before.
 Also.
In
both
cases
the
questions
will
be
 mainly
close
ended.
 
 11
 suggest
indirectly
the
answer.
such
as
the
politicians.
For
the
citizens
 questionnaire
I
would
not
extend
the
20.
p.
 which
take
place
in
the
facebook
profile
sites
of
the
major
Greek
political
parties.
in
order
to
test
the
willingness
to
participation
and
the
 functionality
of
the
questionnaires.
with
one
or
two
open
ended
questions
in
the
end.
The
size
of
the
questionnaire
also
matters.

 For
the
politicians′
questionnaire
I
intend
to
use
not
more
than
8
to
10
questions. Key issues What
this
research
is
concerned
about
is
the
nature
of
the
political
debates.
too
little
questions
 would
miss
the
point
of
the
research
(ibid.
 I
am
interested
to
find
out
whether
facebook
offers
the
possibility
for
 deliberative
political
debates
and
for
the
formation
of
an
online
public
sphere
 and
if
yes.
Hansen
et
al.
how.
 especially
when
dealing
with
people
who
are
very
busy.
 Prior
to
the
main
study
I
would
perform
a
pilot
study
of
10
politicians
and
50
 facebook
fans.
too
long
questionnaires
tend
to
become
boring.
Based
on
the
results
of
the
pilot
study
 possible
modifications
to
the
content
of
the
questionnaires
will
be
made.
 233‐239).


 























































 6
All
the
politicians
are
theoretically
represented
in
the
profile
sites
of
their
party.
their
satisfaction
with
the
kind
of
dialogue
that
takes
place
in
 facebook.
 The
citizens
will
be
asked
about
the
frequency
and
the
amount
of
their
 participation.
I
expect
that
the
rate
of
satisfaction
with
the
nature
of
 the
online
dialogue
will
be
small.
The
questions
will
address
the
actual
 use
they
make
of
these
sites.
among
others.
if6
and
why
they
use
social
media.
 and
particularly
facebook.
intentions
and
 expectations
of
the
users
(citizens
and
politicians).
if
they
participate
in
online
discussions
with
the
citizens
and
if
they
believe
 that
facebook
contributes
to
a
better
and
more
direct
communication
between
 citizens
and
politicians.
 From
studying
the
results
of
previous
surveys
and
from
personal
monitoring
of
 several
online
discussions.
behaviours.
their
 possibility
for
equal
participation
in
the
political
debates
and
their
expectations
 of
the
use
of
social
media
for
political
communication.
 whether
the
politicians
respond
to
the
questions
or
critiques
of
the
citizens
and
 whether
the
discussions
are
more
between
citizens
alone
or
between
citizens
 and
politicians.
 
 12
 Unlike
the
studies
I
mentioned
previously
I
am
not
going
to
examine
the
texts
of
 political
debate.
 .
but
to
measure
attitudes.

 The
politicians
will
be
asked.
I
also
expect
that
the
citizens
will
complain
 about
the
negligible
respond
of
the
politicians
to
their
comments.
On
the
other
 hand
I
am
optimistic
that
there
will
be
consensus
among
politicians
and
citizens.
the
quality
of
information
they
receive
through
these
sites.
Very
important
is
to
know.
if
they
use
other
social
networking
or
social
media
 sites.


 Thus
 the
 study
 cannot
 draw
 conclusions
 about
 the
 part
 of
 the
 population
 that
 has
 no
 Internet
 access
or
that
does
not
engage
to
social
media
platforms. The
sample
of
the
politicians
consists
only
of
members
of
the
parliament
and
 cannot
apply
for
all
the
Greek
politicians.
For
practical
reasons
the
sample
of
the
 citizens
 includes
 only
 citizens
 that
 already
 use
 social
 media.
The
results
I
 expect
to
draw
from
this
analysis
will
only
apply
for
the
particular
samples
of
 population
I
defined
above.
Also.
how
and
why
Greek
 politicians
and
citizens
make
use
of
them.
 .
 
 13
 that
social
media
have
the
potential
to
be
an
effective
platform
of
political
 communication
and
deliberative
democracy.
the
study
is
concerned
only
with
 the
Greek
population
and
makes
no
comparisons
to
other
countries.
 The
 respective
 study
 will
 use
the
quantitative
method
of
survey
research
to
find
out
if.
 Conclusion This
proposal
is
concerned
with
the
nature
of
political
dialogue
in
the
facebook
 profile
 sites
 of
 the
 two
 major
 Greek
 political
 parties.

democracy and social media o What is political communication? o o o o o How political communication contributes to democracy What are social media? The case of facebook The role of social media in political communication Political communication and social media in Greece Why it is important to study the role of social media in political communication Literature review o Contextualisation of the study within the history of mass communication research o o o Media effects Public sphere and deliberative democracy Previous studies on the topic Research methodology o Detailed explanation of the used methodology o Results and discussion Conclusion Appendix of the questionnaires References References Asen. Robert. Dewey: Multiple Publics and Permeable Borders in .
 
 Layout of the thesis 14
 Introduction o Topic of the study and summary of the main results Political communication. The Multiple Mr.

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